RNB issues inflation report
The Romanian National Bank has upped its inflation prognosis to 13.9% for the end of this year, and estimates an inflation of 7.5% for the end of next year. In May, the central bank estimated inflation rates of 12.5% for late this year, and 6.7% for 2023. In mid 2024, inflation is expected to reach 2.3%. The rate of inflation has intensified its rate of growth from April to June, and exceeded 15% against shocks generated by the price of energy, fuels, and other goods, but also the growth in the price of food, especially the processed kind. RNB governor Mugur Isarescu pointed to the so-called ROBOR index, used to calculate loan rates for consumers. He believes that banks had an exaggerated response when they exceeded the monetary policy rate with the ROBOR index. The latter was about 3% in January, but now it is over 8%, way over the National Bank reference interest rate of 5.5%.
Romania's harvest sufficient in spite of drought
Romania has finalized its wheat harvest, but the yield is 15 to 18% less than in 2021, according to Agriculture Minister Petre Daea, speaking on Wednesday. Last year, the country had a record grain harvest, of which 11.3 million tons of wheat, but this year crops were affected by the weather and high production costs. Minister Daea, however, specified that there is enough wheat to cover the needs of the entire country, also leaving enough for export. Romania's average consumption is 2.5 to 3 million tons. High temperatures and prolonged drought have affected crops around the country, especially corn and sunflower, with over 300,000 ha out of 7 million being compromised. Romania is one of the biggest grain exporters in the EU, and is an active exporter for the Middle East, where the main importer is Egypt. Romanian grain goes out of the country through the country's main port, Constanta, which is used by Ukraine as an alternate export route, after the Russian blockade in the Black Sea.
Romania helps France with putting out fires
The National Committee for Emergency Situations, at the bequest of PM Nicolae Ciuca, has decided to grant emergency humanitarian aid to put out fires in France. 7 officers and 70 firefighter NCOs were mobilized, as well as 17 vehicles. This aid comes after the call for international assistance was issued by the French government, through the European Civilian Protection Mechanism. Romania has previously granted such aid to Greece. France received teams of firefighters from Germany, Austria, and Poland, as well as 4 aircraft from the EU firefighter fleet, re-positioned from Greece and Sweden. French President Emmanuel Macron thanked Romania and the other states that helped extinguish fires in his country, pointing to this aid as proof of European solidarity.
Bucharest condemns Russian military action at the nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia
Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu issued a condemnation of Russian military action at the nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, in southern Ukraine. On Twitter, the minister said that such action is irresponsible, and puts all of Europe at risk. The nuclear plant, the biggest in Europe, falls within the territories that have been under Russian control since March. The plant is occupied by Russian troops, but continues to be operated by a Ukrainian company and its expert staff. This week, Ukraine reported heavy Russian bombardment on the front line, but both sides blamed each other for the strikes last weekend on the plant, which deeply worries the international community with regard to a possible nuclear disaster. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the immediate cessation of any military activity in the proximity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. He was addressing both Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Romanian soccer teams qualified for the European Conference League play-offs
Romanian soccer vice-champions FCSB qualified for the European Conference League play-offs after defeating FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda 1-0 on Thursday night on the National Arena in Bucharest, in the second leg of the third preliminary round of the competition. FCSB was not daunted by the game at home, in a duel with an inferior adversary. In the face off for the Conference League groups, FCSB will meet Norway's Viking Stavanger. Universitatea Craiova has also qualified for the competition, after defeating the Ukrainian squad Zaria Lugansk 3-0, also Thursday, also at home. Universitatea Craiova will play against Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC of Israel. Another Romanian team qualified for this competition is champion CFR Cluj, which beat at home Shakhtior Soligorsk of Belarus, 1-0. CFR Cluj will face off against NK Maribor of Slovenia in the play-offs. Unfortunately, Sepsi OSK Sf. Gheorghe was eliminated by Swedish squad Djurgaardens IF, which defeated them 3-1 on the Stockholm Arena.